Don Quixote and the Broadway musical The Man of La Mancha have certainly been more popular abroad than the wines of La Mancha have ever been, at least until now. Mano a Mano is the personal project of Jorge Ordonez, the leading importer of Spanish wines in the United States, and for the last several years Mano a Mano has been playing to critical and popular acclaim. Everything about Mano a Mano reflects Ordonez's natural hands on approach to winemaking as the name implies. Even the label for Mano a Mano was originally hand drawn by Jorge Ordonez's children. Most importantly, Mano a Mano has put La Mancha back on the serious wine drinker's viticultural map.
The Mano a Mano winery is located on the best terroir of La Mancha. This estate's award winning wine is a 100% varietal, all from old Tempranillo vines averaging more than 40 years of age. In just a few short years Jorge Ordonez has fashioned Mano a Mano into La Mancha's flagship wine.
Jorge Ordonez is the most influential name in Spanish wine. From virtual obscurity in 1987, Ordonez has risen to the position of guardian, prophet, and zealot all in the name of Spanish wines. He has advanced and revolutionized the Spanish wine industry in all respects. Moreover, he has educated and introduced Americans to a treasure trove of fine Spanish wines.
When he started his quest in 1987, the then 27-year-old Jorge Ordonez was a voice in the wilderness. Two decades ago, the quality and variety of Spanish wines for export had become nothing short of dismal. Spanish wine sales lagged far behind that of France, Italy, and California and overall quality was variable at best. By the force of his dynamic, visionary personality and sheer hard work, Ordonez has brought fine Spanish wines to the forefront of American wine drinking. At the same time, the now 45-year-old Ordonez has improved the overall quality and consistency of Spanish wines. Presently, he oversees an amazing portfolio of 130 Spanish wines from 40 different wineries. His name on a bottle of Spanish wine is as close to a seal of quality as one can find, simply because "When nobody cared about Spanish wines," Ordonez proclaims, "I was there."
Robert Parker, Jr., the influential wine critic, has twice named Jorge Ordonez Wine Personality of the Year. Others have dubbed this remarkable man, the best friend Spanish wine ever had; while still others claim that Ordonez has provided the impetus for the present renaissance in Spanish wines. Indeed, this is the Siglo d'Oro or Golden Age of Spanish wine, thanks in large part to Jorge Ordonez and a few other like minded visionaries.